This is just great, and sums up so many things - including, most especially, my gratitude. Plus, I just thought y'all might like to understand the lyrics for once. :-)
As you might expect, there's more to this video than meets the eye. More music, and more of a story...
The folks at Playing for Change.com explain how the tech revolution fueled something entirely new:
"We built a mobile recording studio, equipped with all the same equipment used in the best studios, and traveled to wherever the music took us. As technology changed, our power demands were downsized from golf cart batteries to car batteries, and finally to laptops. Similarly, the quality with which we were able to film and document the project was gradually upgraded from a variety of formats - each the best we could attain at the time - finally to full HD...."
From communities, to the world, in shared music. Not bad. In time, the playlist will be more 2-way. But...
"Over the course of this project, we decided it was not enough for our crew just to record and share this music with the world; we wanted to create a way to give back to the musicians and their communities that had shared so much with us. And so in 2007 we created the Playing for Change Foundation, a separate 501©3 nonprofit corporation.... Now, musicians from all over the world are brought together to perform benefit concerts that build music and art schools in communities that are in need of inspiration and hope."
You could do a hell of a lot worse than that. Real hope usually requires policy changes, and often cultural changes, which is why economic development projects so often go nowhere. There's always a place for art & music in a human life, and I like a project that, pretty much no matter what, always goes somewhere.
Now, if you liked that video, check out the full 24-song YouTube mix. It's a visual album that I promise you will not regret.
It was at that point that the ronin struck. 47 of them gathered on 14 December 1702 and, after donning the armor and taking up the weapons from the cache, they set out on their revenge on that same snowy night. Once at Kira's Edo mansion, they divided into two groups and attacked, with one group entering through the rear of the compound while the rest forced their way through the front, battering the gate down with a mallet. Kira's men, many of whom were killed or wounded, were taken completely by surprise but did put up a spirited resistance (one of the ronin was killed in the attack), though ultimately to no avail: Kira was found in an outhouse and presented to Ôishi, who offered him the chance to commit suicide. When Kira made no reply, Ôishi struck off his head with the same dagger that Asano had used to kill himself with. Kira's head was then put in a bucket and carried to the Sengakuji, where Asano was buried. After Ôishi and the others had given the bloody trophy to the spirit of Asano, they turned themselves in.-
Yeah, I did. I think we should all vote like that [turning out the incumbent party after two or three terms]. Otherwise we're just the slaves of any political party. We should vote for the welfare of the country, not for the welfare of the party.That's a tagline if I've ever heard one...
Wow, a French film - well, short really, but you get the idea - that I like. I'd say "who knew?" But if you've ever seen Brotherhood of the Wolf, you'll know that some French films are good:
This one won a bunch of deserved awards, and even has its own web site.
From Russell Kirk's 1981 essay "The Moral Imagination."
"Every major form of literary art has taken for its deeper themes the norms of human nature. What Eliot calls "the permanent things" - the norms, the standards - have been the concern of the poet ever since the time of Job, or ever since Homer: "the blind man who sees," sang of the wars of the gods with men. Until very recent years, men took it for granted that literature exists to form the normative consciousness - that is, to teach human beings their true nature, their dignity, and their place in the scheme of things. Such was the endeavor of Sophocles and Aristophanes, of Thucydides and Tacitus, of Plato and Cicero, of Hesiod and Vergil, of Dante and Shakespeare, of Dryden and Pope.
The very phrase "humane letters" implies that great literature is meant to teach us what it is to be fully human...."
"Now I do not mean that the great writer incessantly utters homilies. With Ben Jonson, he may "scourge the naked follies of the time," but he does not often murmur, "Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever." Rather, the man of letters teaches the norms of our existence through allegory, analogy, and holding up the mirror to nature. The writer may, like William Faulkner, write much more of what is evil than of what is good; and yet, exhibiting the depravity of human nature, he establishes in his reader's mind the awareness that there exist enduring standards from which we fall away; and that fallen human nature is an ugly sight.
Or the writer may deal, as did J. P. Marquand, chiefly with the triviality and emptiness of a society that has forgotten standards. Often, in his appeal of a conscience to a conscience, he may row with muffled oars; sometimes he may be aware only dimly of his normative function. The better the artist, one almost may say, the more subtle the preacher. Imaginative persuasion, not blunt exhortation, commonly is the method of the literary champion of norms..."
Read in full, and discuss.
This phrasing ["You Lie!"] is not a "breach of protocol," as the NYT would have it, but part of another protocol. Kenneth R. Greenberg, scholar of dueling (and baseball, oddly enough; he had some interesting things to say on the intersection of those two things in the post-war American South), noted:Now, another scholar named Greenberg -- I don't know if they are related -- wrote a piece on the Jews of Savannah, Georgia. I believe this is the piece, although you can't see the relevant part if you don't have access to an academic library. If memory serves, it recounts the story of how Jews in Savannah were accepted into the community early compared to the rest of the country, as proved by the fact that they were challenged to duels and fought them; for, as Kenneth Greenberg describes at length, gentlemen dueled only with equals. If they were challenged in the terms of honor, and allowed to fight as honorable men, then they were equals in fact.Only certain kinds of insulting language and behavior led to duels. The central insult that could turn a disagreement into a duel involved a direct or indirect attack on someone's word -- the accusation that a man was a liar. To "give someone the lie," as it was called, had always been of great consequence among men of honor. As one early-seventeenth-century English writer noted, "It is reputed so great a shame to be accounted a lyer, that any other injury is canceled by giving the lie, and he that receiveth it standeth so charged in his honor and reputation, that he cannot disburden himself of that imputation, but by the striking of him that hath given it, or by chalenging him to the combat."
Three breaths before Rep. Wilson shouted out that President Obama was a liar, President Obama had said that "prominent politicians" who spoke to concerns about potential end-of-life issues were spreading "a lie." Every Congressman present understood themselves to be a prominent politician; those who had expressed concerns about that issue, then, stood accused to their faces of lying. Rep. Wilson, of South Carolina, responded in anger and in kind.
It may be hard to understand if you aren't from the South, or a similar culture: but "giving the lie" in this case is the furthest thing from a mark of racial disrespect. It is a mark of accepted equality.
If a Southerner accepts you as an equal, and you call him a liar to his face, you will have to fight him. That is courtesy, not discourtesy: he wouldn't bother to fight you if he didn't respect you. He would snort at you, or strike you, but he would not respond to you in the language of honor.
Of course, these days we do not duel, and the only way such an encounter can terminate is with an apology. One was offered, and accepted -- the wager of battle, such as it is today, has been fulfilled according to the ancient forms. It may look strange to places that have not known such wagers in their lifetimes, but this sort of exchange was once the lifeblood of American politics. The South, as always, sustains.
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I doubted very much that the franchise had anything left in it. Hadn't seen the last few, didn't miss them.
The trailer intrigued me, though, and we had some time to kill. Didn't expect much.
I was wrong. Damned if they might not have re-invented the franchise with this one. Definitely an updated series for its time, might even be one of those weird foreshadowing movies in terms of resonance with outside events. Just not sure how they top it going forward.
I suspect most of you have seen this already. If not, do yourselves a favor. Visit this YouTube page, and watch an unemployed, 47 year old spinster walk on a Britain's equivalent of American Idol... and just blow the effing house down.
Thanks to the Internet, this was the viral equivalent of a tsunami. Follow-on TV appearances have been frequent, she may be about to record a duet with her singing idol Elaine Page (who was impressed), and it seems like she won't have to be looking for a job any time, well, ever again. The only shame in all of this is that she's been singing in her village, recording local charity albums (listen to "Cry Me A River" from 1998), rather than being on stage in London's East End for the last 20 or more years. Where she belongs. The good news is, some of the people in her village think that what you just saw on "Britain's Got Talent" wasn't even her best singing. Um, wow.
It's a great story. I love the fact that she sang a stage tune to do it. And I love it that someone with that level of talent was able to walk on, demonstrate it, and let that trump everything else. She didn't win a sympathy vote. She's just that good, and she'll rise as high as her talent lets her. To me, that's what it's all about.
Incidentally, 2007's winner was a guy named Paul Potts, now a multi-millionaire who's touring the world. He was a 41-year old mobile phone salesman, who remembers being beaten up at school every day until he was 18. That was excellent training for his subsequent dissertation on the problem of evil and suffering in a God-created world - and for his life's ambition, which was to become an opera singer....
Listen to his walk-on audition, for an extra treat. My wife, who is an opera fan with a pretty good ear, was very impressed. You will be, too.
Opera. He went out and sang "Nessun Dorma" - and won an "American Idol" equivalent. I love it. He went on to perform before the Queen, of course:
"Well, what did you expect from opera... a happy ending?!?"
Sometimes, even operas have a happy ending. May the best contestant win.